A Comparison of State-Funded Pre-K Programs: Lessons for Indiana - February, 2017 - IN.gov

 
INDIANA UNIVERSITY

A Comparison of State-Funded Pre- K
   Programs: Lessons for Indiana
                       F eb ru ary, 2017

   C E N T E R F O R E VA L U AT I O N & E D U C AT I O N P O L I C Y
ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Colleen Chesnut, Ph.D., (cechesnu@
indiana.edu) is a Research Associate    Table of Contents
at the Center for Evaluation
and Education Policy (CEEP).
                                        Executive Summary                                                  4
Her research focuses on policy          LITERATURE REVIEW                                                  5
implementation for stakeholders
across the P-16 spectrum,               Highlights and trends across states	                              10
educational leadership, issues of
equity for English lanugage learners,          Table 1. Eligibility Requirements for State-funded pre-K
and school law.
                                        	Programs, 2014-2015                                              12
Gina Mosier is a Ph.D. candidate               Table 2. Quality Standards and Measures of Program
in Inquiry Methodology at Indiana
University Bloomington. She was a              Effectiveness for State-funded pre-K Programs, 2014-2015   13
Graduate Research Assistant for the
Center for Evaluation and Education     State Profiles
Policy. She is currently an impact
methods and analysis specialist with           Georgia                                                    14
Thomas P. Miller & Associates.                 Illinois	                                                  16
Thomas Sugimoto (tjsugimo@                     Massachusetts	                                             18
indiana.edu) is an Evaluation
Coordinator with CEEP. He                      Michigan                                                   20
received his Master in Public                  Nebraska                                                   22
Affairs degree from the School of
Public and Environmental Affairs               Ohio                                                       24
(SPEA) at Indiana University. He
has experience in K-12 program                 South Carolina                                             26
evaluation and finance analysis,
including randomized controlled                Tennessee	                                                 28
trial studies, formative evaluations,
and data visualization.                        Virginia                                                   30
                                               Wisconsin                                                  32
Anne-Maree Ruddy, Ph.D. (aruddy@
indiana.edu) is the Director for               Indiana                                                    34
Education Policy and a Senior
Research Associate at the Center        Recommendations	                                                  35
for Evaluation and Education
                                        References	                                                       37
Policy. Her research focuses on
analysis of policy, its development,    References by State	                                              41
and implementation in education
systems emphasizing school              Appendix: Glossary of Acronyms and Terms	                         49
environments and higher education.
Dr. Ruddy coordinates CEEP’s
policy-related activities to promote
high-quality information about
P–20 education used by the general
public, education community and
policymakers.

For questions about this research
or accompanied data visualization,
please contact Colleen Chesnut at
cechesnu@indiana.edu.

AC K N OW L E D G E M E N TS

The authors would like to thank
three CEEP staff members for
their assistance with this report:
Rebekah Sinders, for formatting
and designing the tables, LeeAnn
Sell, for assisting with early phases
of research, and Lisa Simmons-
Thatcher, for assisting with final
edits.
EXECUTIV E SU M M A RY

In order to inform the Indiana State Board of Education’s decision-making on Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K Pilot program,
researchers at the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University compiled existing data on ten states
that have implemented pilot pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) programs and subsequently expanded these programs beyond the pilot
phase. This technical report presents the results of this inquiry, including a review of research on pre-K programs, highlights and
trends across the states, individual state profiles, and recommendations for Indiana.

States and Program Characteristics Examined
The ten states selected for this research were: Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. These states were selected because they have piloted state-funded pre-K programs and
subsequently expanded their programs beyond the pilot phase. Publicly-available data were examined on characteristics of
state-funded pre-K programs. These characteristics were selected in order to provide comprehensive snapshots of state-funded
pre-K programs in each state. The characteristics include:
       • History of program development and expansion
       • Funding source(s) and amounts
       • Quality standards for service providers
       • Eligibility requirements for students/families
       • Enrollment numbers
       • Number and types of service providers
       • Measures of program effectiveness

Key Findings and Recommendations
The states with the highest amounts of total funding allocated to pre-K serve the most students. Most of the ten states provide
funding for pre-K via general revenue funds, but a few use lottery funding. For example, Georgia funded pre-K with $312 million
in lottery funds, enrolled 80,430 students, and served 100% of school districts during 2014-2015. By contrast, the three states
with the lowest levels of total funding (Nebraska, Ohio, and South Carolina) also enrolled the fewest children. An increase in total
funding and consideration of funding sources in addition to the state’s general revenue fund are recommended for expanding
access to pre-K in Indiana. This may include funding options available through federal grants; several of the states examined in
this report have recently received federal funding to enhance quality of and access to their state-funded pre-K programs.

All states have a minimum age requirement for children to be eligible for pre-K, generally three or four years old. Most states also
utilize family income level as an eligibility factor, and some employ additional criteria to target at-risk children. Indiana is the only
state that limits access to state-funded pre-K to children in just a few counties. Expanding eligibility beyond these five counties is
recommended for Indiana’s pre-K programs.

States vary in terms of meeting or exceeding program quality benchmarks established by NIEER and outlined in research on
effective pre-K programs (e.g., Barnett et al., 2016; Weschler et al., 2016), including accreditation, teacher quality, staff to child
ratios, curricula, and quality monitoring. Those meeting benchmarks generally have more clearly-established accreditation
guidelines, well-prepared teachers, lower staff to child ratios, and research-based curricula, assessments, and quality monitoring
processes. Furthermore, several states have dedicated funds and efforts towards regular external evaluation of their pre-K
programs. While increasing access to Indiana’s pre-K programs is important, it will also be crucial to focus on enhancing the
quality of these programs, via attention to best practices exemplified in other states and research on early education.

For a detailed overview of the state programs including funding, enrollment, eligibility requirements, and quality measurements
please refer to CEEP’s interactive data visualization.

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History of the pre-Kindergarten Movement
The pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) movement has its roots in the 1960s, with the creation of the Head Start program in 1965, which
ensured half-day preschool for children from low-income families. Today, the federal Head Start/Early Head Start program
offers not only preschool, but nutrition, health, and other services for infants and children who are at-risk. However, the
program serves less than half of the eligible children from low-income families (Schmit, Matthews, Smith, & Robbins, 2013).
To fill this void, local, city, and county providers have created programs across the country (Muenchow & Weinberg, 2016) and
state-funded programs have increased in number.

Enrollment in pre-K Education
From 2000 onward, the nation has seen growth in state-funded pre-K programs, despite a downturn in the economy and the
economic challenges of funding for early education programs. In the 2001–2002 school year, 581,705 four-year-olds, or 14.8
percent of the entire population in this age group, were enrolled in 45 state-funded pre-K programs in 40 states (Barnett et.
al., 2003). By 2009-2010, the number increased to 1,292,310. Throughout this period the number of programs increased as
well, with 52 different state-funded programs in 40 states and the District of Columbia (Barnett et al., 2010.). Despite this
continuing upward trend, in 2013 only half of all three- and four-year-olds in the United States (U.S.) were enrolled in
preschool programs (both public and private). Of these children, the majority were from high-income families rather than
middle-and low-income families (National Women’s Law Center, 2013). Yet, research has shown that children from low-
income families are the ones that benefit the most from pre-K education (Garcia, Heckman, Leaf, & Prados, 2016).

Benefits of pre-K Education
Research shows that investing in pre-K education provides a myriad of benefits, both in the short-term as well as long-term.
Not only did children in their early years in pre-K education programs perform better than children not enrolled in pre-K
education, but they also had better learning outcomes later in their education and were more likely to graduate high school
and retain their jobs than students who did not attend pre-K education. Furthermore, students who were enrolled in pre-K
education had higher salaries and had fewer arrests than those who were not in pre-K education (Schweinhart, Montie,
Xiang, Barnett, Belfield, & Nores, 2005). The families of these students also benefitted if the program offered childcare as
well (Barnett & Masse, 2007). Lastly, students enrolled in pre-K programs had better health than those who were not
enrolled (Campbell et al., 2014). According to O’Brien and Devarics (2007), pre-K programs are the “gift that keeps on giving”
because children in programs experienced a multitude of educational, economic, and health benefits. Lynch (2007) found
that investing in pre-K programs helped create billions of dollars in benefits for state and federal governments.

Not only does the child who attends pre-K benefit, but so does society. When students were enrolled in pre-K education
programs, less taxpayer money was spent on special education, criminal justice, unemployment benefits, and public benefits
(Karoly & Bigelow, 2005). Furthermore, since participants in the pre-K programs had higher incomes than those who were
not in pre-K programs, these participants contributed more taxes on their earnings. A cost-benefit analysis of pre-K spending
found a $12.90 return on each dollar spent on pre-K education. For a cost of $15,166 of pre-K education, the total public
benefit was $195,621 per student (Schweinhart et al., 2005).

Two seminal studies cited frequently on pre-K education: (a) the HighScope Perry Preschool Study, and (b) the Abecedarian
Early Childhood Intervention Project detail the aforementioned advantages. These studies utilized randomized control trials
that examined longitudinal outcomes of students who were enrolled in pre-K programs compared to students who were
not enrolled. The results from these studies contribute to our knowledge of the benefits of pre-K programs, as the studies
were some of the few randomized control trials that examined longitudinal outcomes of students who were enrolled in pre-K
programs compared to students who were not enrolled (Barnett & Masse, 2007). In addition to these two studies,
researchers examining early childhood education have found similar benefits of pre-K programs.

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The HighScope Perry Preschool study investigated the impact of pre-K education on children from low-income families that
were considered at-risk for failing in school. Children aged three and four were randomly separated into two groups. One
group received a pre-K program that followed HighScope’s instructional approach, while another group received no pre-K
program (Schweinhart et al., 2005). Researchers followed students in both groups from the start of the program through later
in life, and the most recent follow-up was performed when these participants were 40 years old. Researchers also collected
data from the participants’ schools, as well as social services and arrest information. They found that students in the pre-K
programs experienced better learning outcomes, earned more income, and had fewer arrests (Schweinhart et al., 2005).

The North Carolina Abecedarian Early Childhood Intervention project was similar to the HighScope Perry Preschool study
in that it was a randomized control study examining the benefits of pre-K education for children from minority low-income
families. Four cohorts of infants were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group received early education programs,
and the other group did not. Whereas the HighScope project only included half-day preschool, the Abecedarian project
included half-day preschool as well as full-day childcare.1 Additionally, children attended this program from infancy to
kindergarten (Ramey et al., 1974). Akin to the HighScope study, researchers in the Abecedarian study found that children who
received early education programs experienced better outcomes. Several follow-up studies have been performed with study
participants. A recent follow-up study with participants aged 30 years old found that individuals in the program experienced
better social-emotional, educational, and economic outcomes than those who did not receive early childhood education
programs (Campbell et al., 2012). Past studies have also found increased academic and cognitive scores as well as increased
likelihood of college attendance among other benefits (Campbell, Ramey, Pungello, Sparling, & Miller-Johnson, 2002; Clarke
& Campbell, 1998). Furthermore, results from a benefit-cost analysis showed that mothers of children in the program earned
greater income than the mothers of children in the control group. Additionally, children who received the early education
program earned more income (Barnett & Masse, 2007).

The Chicago Longitudinal Study examined the effects of an early education initiative on low-income students. This early
educational program operated in 20 different schools and provided assistance for children from low-income families beginning
at age three up to the age of nine. In the study, the outcomes of children who participated in the program were examined,
as well as outcomes from a comparison group. The most recent study followed up with participants at age 26. Similar to the
HighScope project, researchers performed a cost-benefit analysis and found an 18 percent return on investment annually for
the program. Additionally, for every one dollar that was invested in the early childhood program, there was approximately an
$11 return to the community over the child’s lifetime. These returns were found through increased income for participants, tax
revenues, and decreased costs from the criminal justice system (Reynolds, Temple, White, Ou, & Robertson, 2011).

Another recent study which evaluated the outcomes of two influential early childhood programs in North Carolina through
randomized control trails showed positive longitudinal results. The program targeted children from low-income families,
and the study followed the participants into their mid-thirties. The researchers found a plethora of other benefits, including:
increased salaries for participants and their mothers, improvements in health, quality of life and education, and a decrease in
crime. Additionally, researchers estimated that the benefit-cost ratio of 6.3 and a rate of return of 13% annually, after adjusting
for welfare costs of funding the program through taxes, providing a benefit for taxpayers and the community at large (Garcia et
al., 2016).

Other studies estimate the return on investment for non-targeted universal pre-K programs is between two and four dollars
for every dollar invested (O’Brien & Devarics, 2007). As not all pre-K programs are created equal, high-quality programs garner
the most gains (Lynch, 2007). Successful programs such as HighScope and Abecedarian had small staff-to-student ratios and
small class sizes, which have been shown to be most beneficial for student learning (Ackerman & Barnett, 2006). Researchers
have found that some of the core elements of success for high-quality pre-K programs include: learning goals connected

1
 Some research has shown that low-income students enrolled in full-day pre-K programs have more significantly improved learning outcomes
than those in half-day programs (Robin, Frede, & Barnett, 2006).

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to K-12 standards, low student/staff ratios, small class sizes, and highly-trained teachers with proficiency in early childhood
education (Gayl, 2008).

There is some critique on whether pre-K programs such as HighScope and Abecedarian can be replicated with fidelity across
the U.S. Moreover, would the same results be found for all children? Though researchers did find positive results for these
two randomized control studies for these particular disadvantaged children, it is uncertain if these results are generalizable
to other groups of children (Barnett, 2011). Equally, there is some critique of the long term outcomes of some of the pre-K
programs (Lipsey, Farran, & Hofer, 2015; Puma, Bell, Cook, & Heid, 2010; Puma et al., 2012). These studies have suggested that
the positive effects of pre-K may fade over time. Further studies indicate that variables, and thus findings, differ considerably
across pre-K research studies related to the following program elements:
       • Program quality and implementation,
       • Program financial resources,
       • Program duration,
       • Program populations served, and
       • Elementary school quality and continuing attention from teachers (Workman, Palaich, & Wool, 2016, p. 11).

Enrollment numbers for the nation are provided earlier in this review of the literature. Further, four of the variables specifically
addressed in our study, quality, funding, duration, and eligibility requirements are briefly discussed, below.

Quality. Research not only illustrates the benefits of pre-K education but also illustrates the importance of high-quality early
childhood programs (Yoshikawa et al., 2013). Many states have established quality standards, requirements or guidelines for
pre-K service providers, and these vary across the states. Work conducted by Wechsler, Melnick, Maier, and Bishop (2016)
summarizes the comprehensive research on programs, “demonstrating positive results, as well as the professional standards
for early education, identifying important elements of quality,” (p. 1). According to Weschler et al. (2016, p.1), these elements of
quality include but are not limited to:
       • Early learning standards and curricula that address the whole child, are developmentally appropriate, and are
          effectively implemented.
       • Assessments that consider children’s academic, social-emotional, and physical progress and contribute to
          instructional and program planning.
       • Well-prepared teachers who provide engaging interactions and classroom environments that support learning.
       • Ongoing support for teachers, including coaching and mentoring.
       • Support for English learners and students with special needs.
       • Meaningful family engagement.
       • Sufficient learning time.
       • Small class sizes with low student-to-teacher ratios.
       • Program assessments that measure structural quality and classroom interactions.
       • A well-implemented state quality rating and improvement system.

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), which compiles data annually on state-funded pre-K programs
in the U.S., uses similar metrics to assess program quality. Since 2003, annual NIEER yearbooks on pre-K programs indicated
which state programs meet certain benchmarks related to program quality in the following areas: early learning standards,
teacher and assistant teacher degrees or certifications and training, teacher in-service, class sizes, staff to child ratios,
additional screening and support services, meals, and quality monitoring (Barnett et al., 2016). As some research on pre-K
outcomes demonstrates, even state-funded programs that meet quality benchmarks may not benefit all students in the long
term. For example, in response to findings that positive effects of pre-K participation diminished by the time students were
in third grade, policymakers in Tennessee increased their focus on enhancing quality standards, even though state-funded
programs already met most of the benchmarks outlined by NIEER (Lipsey et al., 2015).

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Funding. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year, state funding for pre-K in all states increased by $755 million to a total of nearly
$7 billion. The Education Commission of the States noted that “this is a 12 percent increase in state investment in pre-K
programs, which builds on an additional 12 percent increase during the 2014–2015 fiscal year,” (Parker, Atchison, & Workman,
2016, p. 2). The authors also noted that in 2015-2016, only five states (Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, South Dakota, and
Wyoming) did not provide state funding for pre-K in some form. This compares to 11 states that were not investing in pre-K
three years prior. While funding levels for pre-K programs increased in 32 states in 2015-2016, as noted previously, less than
half of preschool aged students nationally have access to pre-K programs.

In terms of federal funding, starting in 2012, the U.S. Department of Education began offering competitive awards for early
learning programs, and several of the states examined in this report applied for and received these grant monies. In 2016,
the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) created an opportunity to increase funding for early childhood education via Title I
and Title II funding as well as Preschool Development Grants. In January 2017, the Office of Head Start announced that it will
disburse $290 million to 665 Head Start and Early Head Start programs around the country that may be used to expand to full
school day and year offerings (Samuels, 2017). Congress appropriated the supplemental funding in a fiscal 2016 budget bill
(P.L. 114-113).

Duration. Research indicates that pre-K program duration, including number of days per year and number of hours per day,
may impact the programs’ effects on children and families. For example, a study examining cognitive gains in reading and math
for children attending preschool centers found that the most significant gains occurred for low-income children who attended
at least 30 hours per week and nine months or more per year (Loeb, Bridges, Bassok, Fuller, & Rumberger, 2007). A study
examining the effects of an early literacy intervention implemented in preschool classrooms also found that the intervention
had the greatest positive impacts for children who attended full-day, rather than half-day programs (Landry, Swank, Smith,
Assel, & Gunnewig, 2006). Cost-benefit analysis has also shown that returns on investment for full-day pre-K programs are
higher than those for half-day programs, particularly for low-income and working parents (Barnett & Masse, 2007).

Recent data from national research on state-funded pre-K programs reveals that among state programs, there is roughly
an even split between those offering full-day (between four and eight hours) and half-day (fewer than four hours) programs.
In most state pre-K programs, services are offered during the academic year. Additionally, 11 states allow for localities to
determine the number of hours per day for their programs, and 19 states allow for local determination of programs’ operating
schedules (Barnett et al., 2016).

Eligibility. Eligibility requirements vary across states. Generally, states offer services for children who are at least four years
old (who are not yet kindergarten-eligible), with some extending services to three-year-olds.

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) 2013 State of Preschool Yearbook reported on the eligibility
policies of 53 state-funded pre-K programs, offered in 40 states and the District of Columbia (Barnett et al., 2013). Carolan
and Connors-Tadros (2015, p.5) noted that, “of the 53 programs profiled, 17 (32%) have no eligibility requirements beyond
age, though the program may not be universally available, due to limited funding.” The authors detailed that of the remaining
programs:
       • Low-income status is the most commonly used criteria in determining eligibility. About 28 programs (58%) reported
          using a state-specified income requirement as an eligibility criterion for the program, either on its own or in concert
          with other factors, including age.
       • Eligibility is determined most often by individual child or family characteristics in addition to age. This is the case in 32
          of the programs (60%).
       • 21 programs (40 %) report that age is the only enrollment factor for children in districts (or the entire state) where
          the program is offered.
       • Five (9%) programs reported that income was the only risk factor used for eligibility.
          (Carolan and Connors-Tadros, 2015, p.5)

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Income Eligibility. Barnett et al. (2016) stated that 33 state programs have an income eligibility requirement. In general,
most states calculate eligibility based on a multiple of the federal poverty level (FPL). FPL is calculated annually and takes into
account income and family size. In 2015, families of three making less than $20,090 were considered to be living in poverty
(Office of the Federal Register, 2015). The most commonly used eligibility criteria for state pre-K programs is 185% of the FPL
(or less than $37,167 for a family of three). The 185% FPL cut-off is also the cut-off for reduced-price lunch that is administered
through the United States Department of Agriculture, and is a common definition of low-income employed by public schools.
Another income measure often used, noted by Carolan and Connors-Tadros (2015), is a multiple of State Median Income
(SMI).

Early Education in Indiana
Over the past five years, enrollment in pre-K programs has increased sharply in Indiana. In the 2011-2012 academic year,
10,906 students were enrolled in public and non-public pre-K programs (which report enrollment data to the Indiana
Department of Education). In 2015-2016, 22,222 students were enrolled in these pre-K programs. Though this has occurred,
there are still large numbers of children (many from low-income families) who are not enrolled in pre-K programs. Unlike the
other states in this study, Indiana does not have a comprehensive state-funded pre-K program, though one is in the pilot
phase. In 2015-2016, the state’s pilot pre-K program (On My Way Pre-K) only served 1,585 children in five counties, though
demand by families for preschool aid has far outpaced the number of spots available (Cavazos, 2016).

A recent study has shown that many Indiana families do not have access to high-quality pre-K programs due to cost,
availability, or lack of knowledge about the benefits of investing in early education (Nelson, Brodnax, & Fischer, 2016).
The economic impact in Indiana would likely be quite positive if policymakers invested in a high-quality, publically-funded
pre-K program in Indiana. The return on investment is estimated to be $3.83 to $4.00 per dollar invested in present dollars.
Furthermore, the authors indicate that the cost would be a small portion of the overall K-12 education budget. The researchers
estimate that the total cost per annum for a high-quality publically-funded program would be 0.8 to 2.0 percent of Indiana’s
current spending on K-12 education. It is estimated that the return on this spending would be significant, similar to previous
studies on longitudinal outcomes of pre-K programs. An investment in a high-quality early education program in Indiana would
likely reduce future spending on K-12 education as well as crime. Additionally, it is estimated that children from low-income
families could expect a $3.09 increase in their income over their lifetime for each dollar invested, while children from higher-
income families could expect to realize a $2.79 increase in earnings over their lifetime for every dollar invested (Nelson et al.,
2016).

Based on the information presented in this literature review, the remainder of the report proceeds with the assumption that
pre-K is beneficial and that in particular, the economic benefit of investing in scaling up the pilot pre-K education program
in Indiana would be realized. As such, the focus of this report is how the ten states selected for this study have implemented
state-wide programs following pilot programs. To address this key question, we include a state comparison of key elements
and trends as well as individual state profiles on the following characteristics:
        • History of program development and expansion
        • Funding source(s) and amounts
        • Quality standards for service providers
        • Eligibility requirements for students/families
        • Enrollment numbers
        • Number and types of service providers
        • Measures of program effectiveness

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HIG HL IG H TS A ND T R E NDS ACROSS STATES

Development and Growth of State-Funded pre-K
All ten states selected for this study established legislation to provide state funding for pre-K programs in the mid-1980’s
(Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, South Carolina, and Wisconsin) or the 1990’s (Georgia, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, and
Virginia). More recently, in 2007, Massachusetts piloted an additional pre-K initiative, focused on enhancing program quality
and expanding access for at-risk children (Fountain & Goodson, 2008). South Carolina also added a second state-funded
full-day pre-K program in 2006 as a result of a school funding equity lawsuit (SC Education Oversight Committee, 2008). For
these two states, with two separate state-funded pre-K programs, this report presents data to the extent possible only on the
more recently-established and rigorous (full-day) program: Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) in Massachusetts and the Child
Development Education Pilot Program (CDEPP) in South Carolina.

For a detailed overview of the state programs including funding, enrollment, eligibility requirements, and quality
measurements please refer to CEEP’s interactive data visualization.

Each state’s profile depicts the percentage of school districts offering state-funded pre-K programs in 2014-2015, which
ranges from 90% or greater in five states (Georgia, Illinois, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin) to 25% in Massachusetts. By
comparison, Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K Pilot Program was available in 3% of school districts in 2014-2015 (Barnett et al.,
2016).

Funding and enrollments. There is also a wide range of per-student state funding reported for each state in 2014-2015, from
$6,447 in Michigan to $2,759 in Nebraska; Indiana’s per-student funding was $2,558 (Barnett et al., 2016). Figure 1 illustrates
a comparison in the levels of per-student state funding over time.

Figure 1. Per-student state funding for pre-K programs, 2002-2015
                                                9,000
                 Per Student funding ($2015)2

                                                8,000
                                                7,000
                                                6,000
                                                5,000
                                                4,000
                                                3,000
                                                2,000
                                                1,000
                                                    0
                                                        2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010   2011    2012   2013   2014   2015

                                                        GA     IL    MA      MI    NE     OH      SC          TN      VA       WI

Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks, 2003-2015.

Charts within each state’s profile illustrate trends over time in the state’s total funding for pre-K programs, total student
enrollments, and total enrollments compared with per-student funding levels. Data for the total enrollments and total funding
charts were derived both from NIEER state yearbooks (Barnett et al., 2003-2015) and for programs established prior to 2002
from state-specific sources. Enrollment numbers and total funding levels vary by state; Georgia enrolled the greatest number
of students in their pre-K programs in 2014-2015, with a total of 80,430 students, and South Carolina’s program enrolled the
fewest, at 10,665. By contrast, Indiana’s On My Way Pre-K program enrolled 421 students for 2014-2015 and 1,585 students in
2015-2016 (Indiana Family & Social Services Administration, 2015). Total funding for state pre-K programs was also highest
in Georgia for 2014-2015, at $312.1 million, while Nebraska’s total funding was the lowest among the ten states examined,
at $33.3 million. Most states fund their pre-K programs through their general revenue funds; however, Georgia and Virginia
currently utilize lottery funds, and Tennessee utilized lottery funds to scale up pre-K funding between 2006 and 2008.

2
    Total and per-student funding amounts have been adjusted for inflation to reflect dollars as of 2015.

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HIG HL IG H TS A ND T R E NDS ACROSS STATES

Federal grant awards. Starting in 2012, the U.S. Department of Education began offering competitive awards for early
learning programs, and several of the states examined here applied for and received these grant monies. Massachusetts,
Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio received awards for their pre-K programs under the Race to the Top-Early Learning
Challenge program, and Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee received Preschool Development-Expansion grants. The
awards ranged from multi-year grants totaling up to $70 million (Ohio) to yearly awards over the course of three to five years
of $17.5 million (Tennessee and Virginia) or $15 million (Massachusetts). The states receiving these awards proposed a variety
of ways to enhance access to and/or quality of pre-K programming using the grant monies. For example, Massachusetts,
Tennessee, and Virginia planned to expand access to high quality programs in specific high-needs communities. Illinois,
Michigan, and Wisconsin proposed to enhance integration and collaboration with other state and local agencies serving pre-K
students and their families. Several states also proposed to increase quality and alignment of staff professional development
(Massachusetts, Ohio, and Virginia), to improve data collection processes and use of data to inform programming
(Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin), or to create or improve statewide early learning standards (Massachusetts
and Ohio).

Eligibility. Eligibility criteria vary across the ten states, although the child’s age is a factor in all states. All ten states offer
services for children who are at least four years old (who are not yet kindergarten-eligible), with some extending services to
three-year-olds (Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio). In Massachusetts, children as young as two years and nine months are eligible
(Barnett et al., 2016). Three states, including Georgia, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, do not have any additional eligibility
requirements beyond the age of the child. The other seven states include factors such as family income (as measured by a
certain percentage of the FPL or eligibility for free/reduced price lunch or Medicaid) or student/family characteristics (e.g.,
homelessness, English learner status, disability, teen parents, or parents who did not finish high school) among their eligibility
or priority criteria. States that utilize priority criteria (Illinois and Tennessee) technically do not limit eligibility for students who
meet age requirements; limited funding restricts enrollment to prioritized students/families with certain risk factors. Some
states (Illinois, Michigan, and Virginia) allow for local choice in determining eligible children based on certain risk factors. Only
South Carolina and Indiana specify residency requirements for eligibility. Similar to the other states, Indiana’s other eligibility
criteria include the child’s age (four years by August 1 and not yet kindergarten-eligible) and the family’s income (below 127%
of the FPL). Table 1 depicts the eligibility criteria across all ten states.

Program quality. All states have established certain quality standards or guidelines for pre-K program service providers,
and these vary somewhat across the ten states. Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin have staffing and/or program
quality standards codified in their state statutes. Georgia, Illinois, and South Carolina require programs to be licensed by
a state agency, and Massachusetts requires programs outside of public schools to be accredited by a national accrediting
organization (e.g., NAEYC). Requirements for staff vary across the ten states, as well; all require lead teachers to have at least
a certification or Associate’s degree in early childhood education, while some require teachers to have a valid state teaching
license (Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Wisconsin) or to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in a field related to early childhood
education (Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia). Most states have established the maximum staff to student ratio in their state-
funded pre-K programs, with some having different ratios for different ages of students (e.g., Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana).
Wisconsin has recommended guidelines for acceptable staff to student ratios but allows for these to be determined locally.

Most of the states (Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin) have developed
early learning standards to inform the curricula for pre-K programs and the other three states require curricula to be
developmentally appropriate and research-based. In all states except Ohio and Tennessee, some form of assessment is
mandated to monitor students’ progress, and in many states, programs can select the instrument to use for assessment (e.g.,
PALS-pre-K, TS-GOLD, Woodcock-Johnson III Achievement Battery). All states conduct some form of quality monitoring for
their pre-K programs, with most states requiring yearly site visits, and many states utilize research-based quality improvement
rating systems, such as CLASS or ECERS-R. In Virginia, desk monitoring of program data and documentation takes the place
of site visits. Table 2 depicts program quality standards and measures of effectiveness for all ten states.

                                                                                                                                   11
TA B L E 1. E LI G I B I LI T Y R EQU IREM EN TS FOR STATE - FU N DED
         P RE - K P RO G RA M S, 20 14 - 20 1 5

                                                  Family income            Student         Parent         Locality
    State                Age of Student                                                                                          Other
                                                  proxies                  factors         factors        factors

    Georgia              4 yrs. by Sept. 1                                                                                       Universal
                         3-5 yrs. and not K
    Illinois3                                     400% FPL                 HL, FC, EL,     TP, HS                                Community choice in criteria
                         eligible by Sept. 1
                                                  N/A, Programs
                         2 yrs, 9 mo to           must be able to
                         kindergarten             serve children
    Massachusetts        eligibility age,         with income                                                                    Universal
                         which is locally         levels at or below
                         determined               85% median
                                                  income
                                                                                                                                 Children prioritized based on
    Michigan             4 yrs. by Sept. 1        250% FPL                 EL
                                                                                                                                 risk factors by local personnel
                         3 yrs. to                                                                                               At least 70% of state funding
                         kindergarten                                                                                            must support children with
    Nebraska                                      FRL                      DD, EL, BW      TP, HS
                         entrance age (5                                                                                         one or more identified risk
                         yrs. by July 31)                                                                                        factors.
                                                  Free for families
                                                  up to 100% FPL,
                                                  families 101-                                                                  In FY 2017, only four-year-olds
                                                  200% FPL pay on                                                                funded for early childhood
    Ohio                 3 or 4 yrs.
                                                  sliding scale,                                                                 education, other ages (3-5)
                                                  families over                                                                  can use pre-K SPED
                                                  200% FPL pay
                                                  full tuition
                                                  185% FPL                                                70% federal
    South Carolina       4 yrs. by Sept. 1
                                                  (Medicaid)                                              poverty index
                                                                                                                                 At risk of abuse or neglect
                                                                           SPED, EL,                      Community
    Tennessee            4 yrs. by Aug. 31        FRL                                                                            Military parent killed in
                                                                           FC                             choice
                                                                                                                                 action, MIA, or POW
                                                                           HL; SPED
    Virginia             4 yrs. by Sept. 30       200% FPL                 (may by         HS                                    Community choice in criteria
                                                                           350% FPL)
    Wisconsin            4 yrs. by Sept. 1                                                                                       Universal
                                                                                                          Reside in Allen,
                                                                                                          Jackson, Lake,
    Indiana              4 yrs. by Aug. 1         < 127% FPL                                              Marion, or
                                                                                                          Vanderburgh
                                                                                                          county
Family income proxies include the family’s poverty level as determined by a percentage of the FPL; eligibility for Medicaid or the Free/Reduced-priced Lunch
program (FRL)
Student factors include student-level traits such as premature birth or low birth weight (BW), disability or developmental delay (DD or SPED), English learner
status (EL), homelessness (HL), or status in a foster care system (FC)
Parent factors include parent-level traits, such as teen parents (TP), parents without a high school diploma (HS)
Locality factors include geographic location, district/locality poverty index

3
 Illinois operates a universal program pre-school program, with priority for a-risk children. However, the state has yet to allocate sufficient funding for non-at-risk
children to be served. Eligibility requirements, other than age, listed on the table are those for priority status.

Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks 2003-2015; See References by state for additional sources.

                12   Indiana University | Center for Evaluation & Education Policy
TA B L E 2. QUA LI T Y STA NDARDS AN D M EASU RES OF PROGRAM
    EF F ECTIV E N ESS FO R STATE - FU N DED PRE - K PROGRAM S,
    20 14 - 20 1 5 4

                                                                                  Learning Standards/
    State            Accreditation               Staff Training/Licensing                                       Staff-to-Child Ratio      Assessments5               Quality Monitoring
                                                                                  Curriculum

                                                 Lead teacher: BA in ECE or       State preapproved
                     Licensed by GA Dept.
                                                 related degree or                curricula
                     of Early Care &                                                                                                                                 Site visits and other types of
    Georgia                                      certification                    Georgia Early Learning        1:11                      WSS
                     Learning (Bright from                                                                                                                           monitoring; CLASS
                                                 Assistant teacher: AA            and Development
                     the Start)
                                                 credential or equivalent         Standards

                                                 Teachers: professional
                     Licensed by Dept. of        educator license w/ ECE          Curriculum aligned to IL                                                           Site visits (3 year basis):
                                                                                                                                          Research-based
                     Children & Family           endorsement                      Early Learning &                                                                   ECERS-R and ISBE Early
    Illinois                                                                                                    1:10                      authentic
                     Services (for childcare     Assistant teacher: current,      Development Standards                                                              Childhood Block Grant 3-5
                                                                                                                                          assessments6
                     centers)                    registered paraprofessional      (IELDS)                                                                            Compliance checklist
                                                 approval

                     Group child care
                                                 All teachers: ECC Public site    Early Childhood Program
                     programs: NAEYC or                                                                                                   One of the following:
                                                 teachers: BA Nonpublic site      Standards and                                                                      Site visits and other types of
    Massachusetts    NEASC                                                                                      1:7-10                    WSS; COR; CCDC;
                                                 teachers: No degree              Guidelines for Preschool                                                           monitoring; QRIS (voluntary)
                     Family child care                                                                                                    ASQ
                                                 requirement                      Learning Experiences
                     providers: NAFCC

                                                 Teacher: valid MI teaching
                                                                                  Comprehensive learning
                                                 certificate with ECE or Early
                                                                                  standards Research-
                                                 Childhood-General and                                                                    Assessments inform
                                                                                  validated curriculum
                                                 Special Education                                                                        all areas of the
                                                                                  which can include:                                                                 Site visits and other types of
                                                 endorsement or BA in EE or                                     1:8 (four-year-olds       ECSQ-PK;
    Michigan         N/A                                                          -Creative Curriculum                                                               monitoring; Great Start to
                                                 CD with focus in teaching                                      only)                     research-based
                                                                                  -High Scope Early                                                                  Quality system
                                                 pre-K                                                                                    authentic
                                                                                  Childhood Curriculum
                                                 Asst. teacher must have                                                                  assessments
                                                                                  Combinations of other
                                                 CDA or AA in ECE, CD or
                                                                                  curricula
                                                 equivalent

                                                 Teacher: NE teaching
                                                 certificate with
                                                 endorsement in ECE, ECSE,                                                                                           Site visits to selected
                     Compliance with Rule                                         Developmentally and
                                                 or ECI                                                                                                              programs, periodic program
                     11 Regulations for Early                                     culturally appropriate
    Nebraska                                     Paraeducators: CDA, NE                                         1:10                      TS-GOLD                    evaluations required;
                     Childhood Education                                          curriculum, practices,
                                                 teaching certificate with K-6                                                                                       ECERS-R, ITERS-R, CLASS,
                     Grant Programs                                               and assessment
                                                 endorsement, 12 hours of                                                                                            HoVRS
                                                 credit in child development
                                                 or ECE

                                                 Teacher: AA in approved                                                                                             Site visits and other types of
                                                 field of study                   Comprehensive learning        three-year-olds: 1:12                                monitoring
    Ohio             N/A                                                                                                                  N/A
                                                 Asst. teacher: HS diploma or     standards                     four-year-olds: 1:14                                 Rating system called Step
                                                 equivalent                                                                                                          Up to Quality

                                                                                                                                          One of the following:
                                                 Teacher: ECE certification                                                               WSS; CCDC;                 Annual site visits for Dept. of
                     Licensed by SC Dept.
                                                 Assistant: HS diploma,                                                                   TS-GOLD; COR;              Social Service-licensed
                     of Social Services (for                                      SC Early Learning
    South Carolina                               minimum 2 yrs. experience,                                     1:10                      Montessori                 providers, first-year site
                     providers outside of                                         Standards
                                                 ECD enrollment and                                                                       assessment                 visits for public school
                     public schools)
                                                 completion within 1 year                                                                 (Montessori programs       providers
                                                                                                                                          only)

                     New rules from Public
                     Chapter 703, 2016 will
                     establish “high             Teacher: ECE certification       TN Early Learning                                                                  Site visits and other
    Tennessee                                                                                                   1:10                      N/A
                     qualified pre-              Assistant: HS diploma            Development Standards                                                              monitoring, ECERS & ELLCO
                     Kindergarten program”
                     criteria

                                                 Teacher: BA (for public
                     Compliance w/ staffing
                                                 schools); HS (nonpublic);        VA Foundation Blocks for                                                           Desk monitoring; CLASS,
    Virginia         standards in Sec.                                                                          1:9                       PALS-pre-K
                                                 training in early primary or     Early Learning                                                                     ERS
                     22.1-199.1C, VA Code
                                                 elementary education

                     Must meet applicable
                                                                                                                                          Research-based
                     school district             Teacher: BA & licensure with     Wisconsin Model Early                                                              Site visits and other
    Wisconsin                                                                                                   1:10, 1:13, 1:15          authentic
                     standards under Wis.        Dept. of Public Instruction      Learning Standards                                                                 monitoring
                                                                                                                                          assessments
                     Stats. § 121.02

                                                 50% of staff have CDA or
                                                 equivalent, or early
                                                 childhood degree or
                     Rating of 3 or 4 on         equivalent, or have
                     Paths to Quality            completed 60 hours of            Planned curriculum that                                 Assessment
                                                                                                                four-year-olds: 1:12                                 Site visits and other
    Indiana          (NAEYC or NAFCC             training leading to one of       is developmentally                                      appropriate to the
                                                                                                                five-year-olds: 1:157                                monitoring
                     accreditation at Level      these within last three years,   appropriate                                             curriculum; ISTAR-KR
                     4)                          at least 50% of staff
                                                 participate in 20 hrs/year of
                                                 training focused on early
                                                 childhood

4
  Please see Appendix for a glossary of acronyms used in this table.
5
  States with assessments listed specify one or more required by state law/regulatory guidance; those listing “research-based authentic assessments” allow for local choice.
6
  Appendix includes a list of research-based authentic assessments commonly used in pre-K programs.
7
  These are recommended guidelines, staff to student ratios are locally determined.

Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks 2003-2015; See References by state for additional sources.

                                                                                                                                                                                       13
G EORG IA

History                                                             Total student enrollment by year
                                                                      90,000
Georgia’s pre-K pilot program began in 1992 as a result
of the governor’s proposal to create a lottery to fund                80,000

educational programs, which would specifically support                70,000

a preschool initiative. In the first year of the program, 750         60,000
at-risk four-year-olds were served at 20 sites, supported             50,000
by $3 million in state funding. Risk factors to determine             40,000
eligibility for participation in the pre-K program were
                                                                      30,000
eligibility for federal assistance programs, such as
                                                                      20,000
Medicaid, AFDC, or WIC, residence in subsidized federal
                                                                      10,000
housing, or referral by another agency serving children
and families. Lottery funds were first used in 1993-                                                    0

                                                                                                             2000
                                                                                                             2001
                                                                                                             2002
                                                                                                             2003
                                                                                                             2004
                                                                                                             2005
                                                                                                             2006
                                                                                                             2007
                                                                                                             2008
                                                                                                             2009
                                                                                                              1993
                                                                                                             1994
                                                                                                              1995
                                                                                                             1996
                                                                                                              1997
                                                                                                             1998
                                                                                                             1999

                                                                                                             2010
                                                                                                              2011
                                                                                                             2012
                                                                                                             2013
                                                                                                             2014
                                                                                                             2015
1994 to provide pre-K programming, and the program
expanded to serve nearly 9,000 at-risk four-year-olds.              Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015; See Georgia
The program expanded again in 1995, when eligibility                Reference List for additional sources. Values for years with missing data
                                                                    not shown in chart.
became universal for four year old children in Georgia,
not just those deemed at-risk. Enrollments continued to             Total state funding by year
grow throughout the late 1990’s and 2000’s (Georgia
                                                                                                          400.0
Department of Early Care and Learning, 2016a).
                                                                                                            350.0
                                                                          $Millions, inflation adjusted

                                                                                                          300.0

                                                                                                            250.0
 The program expanded again in 1995, when
                                                                                    ($2015)

 eligibility became universal for four year old                                                           200.0
 children in Georgia, not just those deemed                                                                 150.0
 at-risk. Enrollments continued to grow
                                                                                                            100.0
 throughout the late 1990’s and 2000’s.
                                                                                                             50.0

                                                                                                              0.0
                                                                                                                    2000
                                                                                                                    2001
                                                                                                                    2002
                                                                                                                    2003
                                                                                                                    2004
                                                                                                                    2005
                                                                                                                    2006
                                                                                                                    2007
                                                                                                                    2008
                                                                                                                    2009
                                                                                                                     1993
                                                                                                                    1994
                                                                                                                     1995
                                                                                                                    1996
                                                                                                                     1997
                                                                                                                    1998
                                                                                                                    1999

                                                                                                                    2010
                                                                                                                     2011
                                                                                                                     2012
                                                                                                                    2013
                                                                                                                    2014
                                                                                                                     2015
Unique Features
Georgia is among a few states that fund their pre-K                 Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015; See Georgia
                                                                    Reference List for additional sources. Values for years with missing data not
programs primarily through the state lottery, and this              shown in chart.
funding mechanism is outlined in state statutes. Similar
to Wisconsin, pre-K in Georgia is free and open to all              Funding per student and total enrollment by year
four-year-olds, regardless of risk factors. Although the                                               10,000                                          100,000

child’s age is the only eligibility requirement, public
                                                                          Per student funding, $2015

                                                                                                       8,000                                           80,000
school-based programs may prioritize students in their
attendance zone, and any site may also prioritize access
                                                                                                                                                                 Enrollment

                                                                                                       6,000                                           60,000
for homeless children or children in the foster care
system, at their discretion. As of 2014-2015, 100% of                                                  4,000                                           40,000
districts in Georgia had pre-K services available (Barnett
                                                                                                       2,000                                           20,000
et al., 2016).

                                                                                                              0                                        0
 Georgia is among a few states that fund their
 pre-K programs primarily through the state
                                                                                                                    Per Student Funding   Enrollment
 lottery.
                                                                    Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015

     14   Indiana University | Center for Evaluation & Education Policy
G EORG IA

Current Status                                                        Percentage of school districts offering state-funded
As of 2015, Georgia provides $312 million in annual                   pre-K programs, 2014-2015
funding for pre-K programs, or $3,880 per child enrolled
(Barnett et al., 2016). Enrollment totaled 80,430 in 2015,
and services were provided in a mix of public school,
center-based and home-based programs, including
both private, non-profit and for-profit organizations, for
a total of 1,819 providers (Georgia Department of Early
                                                                                                       100%
Care and Learning, 2016b). About half of classrooms are
operated by public school districts. Lead teachers must
have a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education
or a related field, and curricula must be approved by
the state and based on the Georgia Early Learning and
Development Standards (GELDS) (Barnett et al., 2016).                                          No Local Match Required
Student outcomes are assessed through a formative
                                                                      Number/Type of Providers: 1819 public school, center, home-based providers
assessment called the Work Sampling System (WSS),                     Source of State Funding: State lottery
and all indicators assessed align with the GELDS (Georgia             Source: Barnett et al., 2016; Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning,
Department of Early Care and Learning, 2016d).                        2016b

Timeline of Georgia’s Pre-K Program

Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015; See Georgia Reference List for additional sources

                                                                                                                                     15
I LL IN O IS

History                                                             Total student enrollment by year
As part of school reform legislation in 1985, Illinois                100,000
established a preschool program for at-risk children, with                90,000
an initial $12.1 million of funding for FY 1986 provided                  80,000

only to public school districts (Illinois Board of Education              70,000

[ISBE], 2012). Funding levels and enrollments expanded                    60,000

through the late 1980’s and 1990’s, and state legislation in              50,000

1998 combined several early intervention and education                    40,000

programs to form the Early Childhood Block Grant (ISBE,                   30,000

2016). A two-year pilot program, Preschool for All, was                   20,000

established through legislation in 2006, which provided                     10,000

$45 million in new funds for another 101 preschool                                                        0

programs. After the first two years of the PFA program,
the pilot was extended for another two years in 2008                Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015; See Illinios
with priority expanding to include students from families           Reference List for additional sources
whose incomes were up to 400% of the FPL. Technically,
all children who meet the age requirement are eligible to           Total state funding by year
enroll in Illinois’s PFA program, but levels of funding limit
                                                                                                          400.0
availability. Thus, priority criteria are utilized to target at-
                                                                                                          350.0
risk students. In 2011, PFA and the Early Childhood Block
                                                                          $Millions, inflation adjusted

Grant were combined, and the program is now known as                                                      300.0

Preschool for All (ISBE, 2012).                                                                           250.0
                                                                                    ($2015)

                                                                                                          200.0
Unique Features                                                                                           150.0
Similar to other states, eligibility and priority requirements
                                                                                                          100.0
for students to be served by PFA programs include
                                                                                                              50.0
age, residency, and certain risk factors, such as family
income, homelessness, a primary language other than                                                            0.0

English, teen parents, or parents who have not completed
high school. Eligibility criteria may also be prioritized to        Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015; See Illinios
meet the needs of the community in which a program                  Reference List for additional sources. Values for years with missing data not
operates. One aspect of selection for PFA programs in               shown in chart.
Illinois that differs from other states’ programs is the
                                                                    Funding per student and total enrollment by year
screening process. A “research-based screening tool” is
                                                                                                       10,000                                                  100,000
used to identify children who are prioritized to participate;
                                                                          Per student funding, $2015

performance on the screener is used to indicate whether                                                8,000                                                   80,000
a child is academically “at-risk.” The screening instrument
                                                                                                                                                                         Enrollment

is meant to measure a child’s development in cognitive,                                                6,000                                                   60,000

academic, social, and motor skill areas, and interviews
                                                                                                       4,000                                                   40,000
with parents/guardians are part of the process (ISBE,
2016).                                                                                                 2,000                                                   20,000

                                                                                                               0                                               0
 A “research-based screening tool” is used to
 identify children who are eligible to participate;
 performance on the screener is used to indicate
                                                                                                                     Per student funding, $2015   Enrollment
 whether a child is academically “at-risk.”
                                                                     Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015

     16   Indiana University | Center for Evaluation & Education Policy
I LL IN O IS

Current Status                                                          Percentage of school districts offering state-funded
State funding for PFA in Illinois was approximately                     pre-K programs, 2014-2015
$238 million for FY 2015, or $3,161 per child. Enrollment
for 2014-2015 was 75,514, and 100% of counties had
providers offering PFA programs (Barnett et al., 2016).
PFA programs housed in childcare centers must be
licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and
Family Services, and teachers must be licensed with
                                                                                                             100%
an endorsement in early childhood education (Early
Childhood Block Grant, 2011; Barnett et al., 2016).
Curricula must be aligned to the Illinois Early Learning &
Development Standards, and program quality is assessed
during state monitoring visits using ECERS-R and an ISBE
compliance monitoring checklist (ISBE, 2016). Student                                            No Local Match Required
outcomes are assessed through research-based authentic
                                                                        Number/Type of Providers: 461 LEAs, family child care homes, public
assessments and student portfolios to track progress                    schools, Head Start, private child care and faith-based centers
(ISBE, 2016).                                                           Source of State Funding: Illinois Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG)
                                                                        Source: Barnett et al., 2016; Illinois State Board of Education, 2012

Illinois was awarded a $52 million Race to the Top-Early
Learning Challenge grant in 2013. The priorities identified
in the state’s application for this award include enhanced
                                                                               Illinois was awarded a $52 million Race to the
integration of state programs and services for early
                                                                               Top-Early Learning Challenge grant in 2013.
learning programs, increased collaboration with local
communities to serve the most at-risk children, and
increasing overall program quality (U.S. DOE, 2016).

Timeline of Illinois’ Preschool for All Program (PFA)

Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015; See Illinios Reference List for additional sources

                                                                                                                                        17
MASSACH US E T TS

History                                                             Total student enrollment by year
As part of the Massachusetts School Improvement Act of                25,000
1985, the state established the Community Partnerships
for Children (CPC) initiative, which provided coordination            20,000

for early care and education programs in communities
receiving funding (Barnett et al., 2009). The CPC initiative          15,000

has been renamed to Preschool Scholarships, and
operates alongside the more recently established pilot                10,000

program. Massachusetts’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten
Program (UPK) began as a pilot initiative in 2007, with                    5,000

$4.6 million appropriated by the state legislature. The
pilot grants were awarded to providers in a competitive                                                 0

process, and criteria focused on the ability of providers,
which could be based in a variety of settings, to                    Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015; See
provide high-quality and developmentally-appropriate                 Massachusetts Reference List for additional sources. Please note that
                                                                     enrollment numbers for 2003-2014 include both CPC and UPK programs.
programming in accredited settings (Fountain & Goodson,
2008). Programs that would serve at-risk children and
                                                                    Total state funding by year
those from low-income families were prioritized for the
                                                                                                             150.0
pilot initiative. The UPK pilot expanded in 2008 with $7.1
million in state funding, and again in 2009 with $10.9
                                                                             $Millions, inflation adjusted

million. For the first round of grant funding, in 2007, 131
programs received grants, and 105 additional sites were                                                      100.0
                                                                                       ($2015)

awarded grants in 2008 (Fountain & Goodson, 2008). The
primary distinction between UPK programs and Preschool
Scholarships programs is the program schedule; UPK                                                           50.0
programs are required to provide access to full-day and
full-year programs, whereas Preschool Scholarships
programs vary in their hours and months per year of                                                            0.0
operation (Barnett et al., 2009).

                                                                     Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015; See
 UPK programs serve children as young as two                         Massachusetts Reference List for additional sources. Please note that
 years, nine months, another feature setting these                   funding numbers for 2003-2014 include both CPC and UPK programs.
 apart from other states that only serve three- and
 four-year-olds in their preschool programs.                        Funding per student and total enrollment by year
                                                                                                       10,000                       25,000

Unique Features
                                                                          Per student funding, $2015

                                                                                                       8,000                        20,000
The UPK program focuses on enhancing quality of early
childhood settings; as of 2008, all center-based and family
                                                                                                                                             Enrollment

                                                                                                       6,000                        15,000
home-based providers are required to be accredited by
either NAEYC (center-based) or NAFCC (family) and/                                                     4,000                        10,000
or have teachers with Bachelor’s degrees and early
childhood certifications. Requirements for the program                                                 2,000                        5,000
state that grant monies should be used to enhance quality
through increased teacher salaries/benefits, training                                                          0                    0
on administering, interpreting, and using assessment
data, staff professional development, incorporating
                                                                    Source: NIEER State of Preschool Yearbooks – 2003-2015. Please note that
                                                                    enrollment and funding numbers for 2003-2014 include both CPC and UPK
                                                                    programs.
     18   Indiana University | Center for Evaluation & Education Policy
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